Thursday, 21 May 2009

New gear Reviewed, Aku Croda

Boots - Aku Croda

Initial Impression

I’d been looking at the Aku Croda since last year but only recently got a pair. They seemed very comfortable straight from the box but I find I’m pretty tolerant when it comes to footwear. They’re lighter than my Meindl Borneo’s and are Gore-Tex lined although I’m always sceptical about so called waterproof boots. They look quite narrow but I think that’s down to the way the laces run down to the toe like rock shoes. They’re also cut away deeply at the heel which should allow for plenty of flexibility.

In The Field

Comfortable from the start worn with a pair of Salomon long Ski socks. I found they were grippy on most of the wet rocks I came across. I crossed quite a few streams by way of stepping stones and didn’t have any concerns and they offered good grip on the wet gravel path from the Shelter stone up to Loch Etchachan and across a snow filled gully. They were stiff enough to edge across the snow and wet grassy areas and also to kick into the wet icy snow. I did end up with one sock slightly damp at the toe, not sure what happened as I had a pair of ankle gaiters on and water would almost certainly get in at the heel cutaway before it came in over the tongue. To be honest it doesn’t bother me one way or the other, I simply don’t trust boots with waterproof liners and in any case I’m not sure if they did in fact leak.

Money well spent, all day comfort straight from the box, not too heavy for what they are (1411g pair size 9). Waterproof? Who knows, I’ll treat them with Nikwax when/if I clean them.

Footnote ;-)

I used a pair of cheap Trekmates Grasmere ankle gaiters simply to keep crap out of my boots, I’d cut the underfoot straps off but they stayed in place just fine and even though I stepped into about 6” of wet peat my boot stayed dry (strangely enough it was the other foot that felt damp)

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